Cardinals Add Sam Tuivailala, Drop Lyons

Before Thursday’s rotation turn, the St. Louis Cardinals added an extra reliever, Sam Tuivailala.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to Sunday night’s game that they have recalled right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala from Memphis (AAA) and that they had optioned left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons to the triple-A club following yesterday’s game.

Tuivailala was 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 12 games for the Memphis Redbirds, striking out 13 and walking just two in his 12.2 innings of work. He was a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities for Memphis.

Tuivailala, 22, worked 2.0 innings in relief during the Cardinals 14-inning win over Pittsburgh on May 3 in his only appearance with the Cardinals during a prior stint with the Major League team this season. He appeared in two games with the Cardinals last September.

Brian Walton’s take

Don’t you wonder why in these press releases that they never talk about the guy who was optioned out? I don’t think that is fair. After all, Lyons did a serviceable job for the Cardinals, keeping a rotation spot warm until the winner of the race to get healthy between Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales was won.

Lyons, 27, made three starts, fanning 17 against five walks in 13 innings. Unfortunately, the lefty gave up 18 hits and 10 runs, eight earned, for a 5.54 ERA. As a result, Lyons returns to Memphis for the fourth consecutive season, apparently unable to make the final promotion stick.

At this point, it certainly appears that Garcia will be making his 2015 MLB debut, starting for St. Louis at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon. I will be there in person to report on the action.

Of course, someone will either have to be placed on the disabled list or optioned to the minors when Garcia is activated on Thursday. Don’t assume it will be Tuivailala. If he can keep the ball in the park, he may be around for a long time.

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